In this post, I’m sharing 5 simple tips for how to make your podcast audio sound better and more professional. These simple tips will save you time and make your podcast audio stand out.
For this blog, I will demonstrate these tips on a session of Tommy Thompson’s Space for Life Podcast. You can find the podcast here.
Before I jump into any podcast mix, I find it helpful to remind myself of these driving thoughts:
Keep Volume Consistent
Reduce or Eliminate Distractions
Use Our Ears, but Sometimes Less is More
Tip #1: Listen for Distractions
I find that listening to distractions before any ear fatigue sets in makes a huge difference. I take note of all distractions I hear, and address some now, and come back to the rest later.
Tip #2: Utilize Dynamic Compression Over EQ
Carving too many frequencies out of a mix with EQ can quickly suck the life out of a vocal and make it sound too processed. By reducing unpleasant frequencies with a dynamic compressor first, the vocal can still retain life and a more natural sound. If needed, EQ can be used to address residual issues.
Tip #3: Automate Volume with Waves Vocal Rider
Using Waves Vocal Rider is my favorite tip for editing podcast vocals. It is a huge time saver, and it normalizes the vocal so the compressors don’t it too hard.
Tip #4: Compress and Limit Each Channel
After using the Waves Vocal Rider, I will compress each channel. I try to not squash the vocal too much, but compression plays a huge role in normalizing and creating a consistent volume level. After I compress I will put a limiter on each channel to reduce the outlying peaks. I find that having a limiter on each channel allows for a cleaner, more balanced mix.
Tip #5: Master with a Loudness Meter
Once I’ve treated and mixed the audio, I will perform simple mastering techniques on the main outs. I don’t do anything crazy here, but I want to ensure that the podcast will sound good on headphones, mobile speakers, or in a car. The most important thing I do is put the Waves Loudness Meter Plus (or any other loudness meter), and make sure all my levels are right. I will tweak the Maserati GRP plugin and a limiter to get the sound I’m looking for that lives in the ideal volume range.
Below is a list of all the plugins used or mentioned in the video:
If you have any questions feel free to reach out or visit our podcast page.